NewEnergyNews: SOLAR2008: DAY 2 – A GREEN NEW DEAL

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

Every day is Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 5 (continued from yesterday)
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 6
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 7
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 8
  • -------------------

    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, April 17:

  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 1
  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 2
  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 3
  • TTTA Thursday-THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 4
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • THE STUDY: NEW ENERGY POSSIBILITIES – THE MICHIGAN EXAMPLE
  • QUICK NEWS, April 16: THE RACE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE; THE FAST RISING POTENTIAL OF U.S. NEW ENERGY; BIG TEXAS WIND SHRINKS ELECTRICITY MRKT PRICE
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THE MONEY IN NEW ENERGY
  • QUICK NEWS, April 15: WORLD WIND TO BOOM THRU 2014; NAT GAS AND SOLAR WERE 75% OF U.S. 2013 NEW POWER; MAINE OFFICIALLY AFFIRMS SMART METERS’ SAFETY
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THIS COULD BE THE REAL VALUE OF SOLAR
  • QUICK NEWS, April 14: DE-RISKED RENEWABLES HAVE MORE INVESTORS THAN DEALS; THE MYTH OF CONSOLIDATION IN SOLAR; TEXAS BREAKS MORE WIND RECORDS
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Bill Maher On What’s Happening In The Oceans
  • Weekend Video: The Human Disharmony In The Climate System Symphony
  • Weekend Video: A Few Thoughts About Solar 2.0
  • --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

    -------------------

    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

    -------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    Your intrepid reporter

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Friday, May 09, 2008

    SOLAR2008: DAY 2 – A GREEN NEW DEAL

    Originally posted May 6.
    There are people here at Solar2008 who have been to 15 or more American Solar Energy Society conferences. Think about it: They have been doing solar energy at the national level since at least 1993.

    And yet now, with oil at $120/barrel and the evidence of global climate change undeniable by reasonable people, national leaders still resist the relatively trivial spending necessary to incentivize solar and the other New Energies. How long do these visionary folks have to keep pointing in the right direction before the crowd in D.C. that is lost figures out which way to go?

    Somebody once said, “If the people will lead, leaders will follow.”

    People who know how to lead are gathered here in San Diego to plan the U.S. solar energy future.

    The technical definition of solar energy, by the way, includes more than just sunshine: “…radiation received and emitted by the earth…including specifically among others wind power and biomass.”

    The central part of the solar plan is to keep building solar and other New Energy capacity. Right now it’s growing at 40% a year. That’s right, FORTY PER CENT PER YEAR. Think they mean business?

    The other part of the plan is to get federal incentives enacted. That’s the part that hasn’t gone well so far – but there’s an election in November and
    polls suggest the American people aren’t going to have patience with Senators and Representatives who are contributing to the current Congressional legislative tangles preventing extension of vital Production Tax Credits and Investment Tax Credits.

    click to enlarge

    What will the New Energy industries do besides keep building capacity and fighting for federal incentives? That depends on how fast they can keep building capacity and that depends on what happens this year with the federal incentives. A speaker quoted E.L. Doctorow: “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see farther than your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way.”

    Professor Michael Dworkin was the first highlight of a highlight-filled day. A Professor of Law, a member of the Electric Power Research Institute and an authority on utilities as well as energy efficiency, Professor Dworkin summarized the now familiar trio of New Energy drivers (energy security, rising costs due to peaking supplies and global climate change) and pointed out that a big part of emissions can be controlled by tightening down on power plant emissions.

    Senator Gary Hart, a University of Colorado Scholar-in-Residence and New American Fellow, spoke after Professor Dworkin. Senator Hart (D-Co) has 2 things in common with Al Gore. First, he was once (in 1988) the next President of the U.S. and, second, he is passionate about climate change.

    Hart told the audience the country’s energy policy is to consume as much Persian Gulf oil as possible while sacrificing American blood and treasure to keep doing it. He pointed out that he had written in April 1980 that if the country continued to depend on Gulf oil, it would eventually have to go to war.

    “It is massively immoral. It is massively immoral,” Hart said. The remedy, he said, is to end dependence on Gulf oil and move to a post-carbon economy.


    Van Jones of Oakland’s Ella Baker Center ended the morning session with a talk about his experiences working in the mean streets of Oakland, CA. He told the gathered solar energy industry professionals the New Energies had moved from the innovative margin to the economic center of the U.S. energy picture. This is great news, Jones said, but it comes with a moral challenge: “Who are you going to take with you and who are you going to leave behind?”

    The “pollution economy” has left some people behind, Jones asserted.

    He talked about neighborhoods where showing 3-year-old kids balloons and flowers makes them cry because they only see those things at funerals and sidewalk memorials.

    He vividly described his own experiences working with the economically disempowered in polluted, crumbling, and energy inefficient working class and underclass parts of inner city Oakland just across the San Francisco Bay from clean, green, upscale Marin County.

    “Eco-apartheid,” he called it. But the New Energy economy now emerging changes the equation.

    The much-maligned 2007 Energy Bill included, despite the Bush administration’s disinclination toward green initiatives, a Green Energy Jobs Act and an energy conservation block grant. Jones said these represent elements in a strategy to transform crises like Oakland’s into opportunity-seizing explosions of growth, sustainability and New Energy for revitalizing the nation’s decaying cities and bringing along the people now so callously left behind.

    He described it as a Green
    New Deal. “If we’re going to beat global warming we’re going to have to weatherize millions of buildings. That’s thousands of contracts, millions of jobs…We’re going to have to put up millions of solar panels, thousands of contracts, millions of jobs…We’re going to have to build thousands of wind farms, thousands of solar farms, we’re going to have plant millions of trees…This is the work of retrofitting, rebooting, reenergizing a nation…Can we be smart enough as a country to connect the people who most need work with the work that most needs to be done and create a green wave to lift all boats?”

    Time for a Green New Deal. (click to enlarge)

    Jones raised a rousing cry for the Green New Deal. “Those communities that were locked out of the last century’s pollution based economy can be locked in to this new clean and green economy. The people who were pushed down by the pollution economy can be lifted up by the clean and green economy…”

    He ended by telling the Solar2008 audience the work of the solar energy industry is to create this new economy, this Green New Deal.

    In a press conference following the presentations, the panel responded to a question from NewEnergyNews about reducing emissions via a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax. Senator Hart referred to his
    Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP), an action plan for the first 100 days of the next president’s term that includes president executive orders instituting New Energy and alternative transportation incentives and a cap-and-auction system designed by Princeton economist Robert Repetto. For Senator Hart, the urgency of action on climate change is paramount.

    For Professor Dworkin, it is the effectiveness of action on climate change that is important. He cryptically observed that the big emitters, utilities and power plants, are interested in TRADE but the important part of emissions reduction is the CAP. He stressed tight and tightening caps as the only way to make cap-and-trade work and it is important to prepare to do this, Dworkin says, because legislation enacting a U.S. trading system is no more than 3 to 5 years away at the very most.

    Oakland’s Jones concluded the Q&A by talking about a cap-collect-and-invest system, stressing fairness in the process. He insisted we could expect a trading system to unfairly impact those at the bottom of the economic system and must therefore design in protections. “Policy is on the side of the problem makers not the problem solvers,” he said. But it is crucial to get it right, Jones summarized. Otherwise, “…it’s going to cost you the only planet we’ve got.”


    When the electorate picks the right leaders, a green boom will follow. (click to enlarge)

    The American Solar Energy Society’s SOLAR2008: Catch The Clean Energy Wave

    WHO
    The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Day 2 plenary session speakers: Professor Michael Dworkin, Professor of Law, member of the Electric Power Research Institute and authority on utilities and energy efficiency; Senator Gary Hart, University of Colorado Scholar in Residence, New American Fellow and once (in 1988) the next President of the U.S.; Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center



    WHAT
    Day 2 at Solar 2008, the American Solar Energy Society annual conclave covering everything important in the world of solar energy.

    WHEN
    - Solar 2008 Day 2: May 5, 2008
    - ASES was founded in 1954.

    PCAP reflects the urgency and importance of the situation more than any pending legislation. (click to enlarge)

    WHERE
    - Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108
    - ASES headquarters is Boulder, CO.
    - ASES is the U.S. affiliate of the International Solar Energy Society

    WHY
    Descriptions of the plenary sessions:
    - Renewable Energy Technology Solutions: …An overview of the current state of the industry, and visions for where the industry will be in 20 years.
    - Emerging Architecture: …the San Francisco Federal Building
    - Emerging Transportation: The documentary Who killed the electric car? has mainstreamed interest in electric vehicles and has brought attention to the auto industry’s role in delaying the availability of clean renewably powered vehicles. Chris Paine, director of the film, and Chelsea Sexton, one of the main characters in the documentary will speak on their continuing efforts to promote vehicles that can be charged from renewable energy. Steve Heckeroth, Chair, Renewable Fuels and Sustainable Transportation Division will wrap up the plenary with a presentation the many advantages of solar electric mobility.

    click to enlarge

    QUOTES
    - Vital new ASES report: Economic and Jobs Impacts of the Renewable and Energy Efficiency Industries
    - Vital new ASES report: Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.; Potential U.S. Carbon Emissions Reductions from Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency by 2030
    - William Becker, Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP): “Politics is the art of compromise. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is no longer negotiating.”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    *